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Two Way Radio Headsets

Posted: Thu, Mar 19 2009, 05:28 PM
by glk47
I posted the following question in the GWTW forum and someone pointed me to the 180GO! team here.

I think I've seen in some videos (maybe iQuad?) people using headsets to communicate calls over wind and (dare we hope?) crowd noise. This strikes me as a good tool for practice, even with pairs. So - can anybody give me some suggestions for what to look for and where to look? It would also be convenient to be able to feed it with an MP3 player. I have seen some devices that allow multiple people to wirelessly listen to the same music source, but they don't seem to incorporate the two way aspect I'd like.

Any pointers?

Thanks - Larry

Re: Two Way Radio Headsets

Posted: Thu, Mar 19 2009, 07:46 PM
by Mike
Hi Larry,
you don't say where you live, so here's a cut & paste from a response I recently gave to someone from England. If you have further questions, just ask.
-----
Both iQuad and 180GO! use the same setup. We use regular consumer grade radios. In the US they are called FRS (Family Radio Service I think) in the
UK they're called PMR446 radios.
They run anywhere from $10 to $25 a piece in the U.S.

We use a microphone meant to be used for mobile phones for broadcasting, and the rest of the team has an earpiece in one ear.

The trick is setting up one of the radios to be continuously broadcasting. Since the radios in the UK are different than the US I can't give you specific details. We've used anything from a piece of tape to hold down the transmit button, to homemade adapters between the mic and the radio, to our current setup of modifying a couple radios internally to always broadcast and accept the mobile phone microphone.

I recommend you look for radios that accept a normal set of MP3 style headphones so you have a wide choice of earpieces and can find ones that are
comfortable and stay in the ear when you're running around on the field.

----
I opened up a Cobra brand radio and added another jack for my mobile phone mic. My radio only broadcasts continuously and can't receive.
It would be possible to add another jack to accept an MP3 player but you would also need to add a volume control to mix it.

As a rough way to add music is to stick one half of the mp3 player headset in your ear, and tape the other one to near the mic. :-)

Re: Two Way Radio Headsets

Posted: Thu, Mar 19 2009, 08:24 PM
by glk47
Hey Mike -

Thanks for the reply. My read on this is that you guys have modified the radios to handle voice transmission from one set (person) only, and that you haven't done anything about music. The split earphone deal would work for one person, but we'd have to get one of those share-your-iPod-wirelessly kits as well to do that bit. Possible, certainly, but a bunch of stuff hung off the flier. :(

BTW, I'm in the USA - SE Pennsylvania.

Which brings up another question - I'm thinking these things don't cross national borders too well!

Larry

Re: Two Way Radio Headsets

Posted: Thu, Mar 19 2009, 09:12 PM
by Jeff
By the way, all advice is theoretical and intended for informational purposes only. Altering an FCC approved device and usage outside that which is specifically allowed in the FRS rules by the FCC is technically prohibited.



;)

Re: Two Way Radio Headsets

Posted: Fri, Mar 20 2009, 06:58 AM
by Mike
glk47 wrote:Hey Mike -

Thanks for the reply. My read on this is that you guys have modified the radios to handle voice transmission from one set (person) only, and that you haven't done anything about music. The split earphone deal would work for one person, but we'd have to get one of those share-your-iPod-wirelessly kits as well to do that bit. Possible, certainly, but a bunch of stuff hung off the flier. :(

BTW, I'm in the USA - SE Pennsylvania.

Which brings up another question - I'm thinking these things don't cross national borders too well!

Larry

True, we haven't done anything about music, but the split earphone would work for the whole team. The broadcasting person has music coming in one ear and the other earphone is near the mic broadcasting to everyone else. You might want a radio shack adapter on your mp3 player to convert stereo to mono.

We used the don't ask don't tell policy when traveling internationally.
Canada now allows US radios legally by the way.

Re: Two Way Radio Headsets

Posted: Fri, Mar 20 2009, 10:55 AM
by glk47
Jeff wrote:By the way, all advice is theoretical and intended for informational purposes only. Altering an FCC approved device and usage outside that which is specifically allowed in the FRS rules by the FCC is technically prohibited.



;)


Understood.

I'd prefer a stock solution, but exploring the options is helping me understand what to look for.

Larry

Re: Two Way Radio Headsets

Posted: Fri, Mar 20 2009, 12:45 PM
by Mike
Jeff wrote:By the way, all advice is theoretical and intended for informational purposes only. Altering an FCC approved device and usage outside that which is specifically allowed in the FRS rules by the FCC is technically prohibited.
;)

I don't think our mods alter it any more than if you just held down, or put a rubber band around, the transmit button.